PennDOT Seeks Feedback On Preliminary I-80 Expansion Plans

As you may have heard, there’s been talk about a major PennDOT project to expand a portion of Interstate 80 that runs through Monroe County.

Thursday night PennDOT revealed several preliminary options of how the highway could be improved. However, it will involve the eventual acquiring of some property along I-80.

For anyone driving along Interstate 80 in Monroe County, just getting onto the highway can be dicey.

Short merge lanes dump drivers out into fast-moving, congested traffic, making it a white-knuckling experience.

“It`s kind of scary sometimes, especially if you’re getting on the highway,” said Amanda Rodriquez.

PennDOT agrees.

“The very short acceleration and deceleration lanes and that leads to safety on the interstate because of those deficient lengths,” said Heather Heeter, a senior project manager with PennDOT.

That`s why PennDOT is planning a major expansion project with work estimated to cost between 400 and 500 million dollars.

At Stroudsburg High School, five options showed different versions of how the highway would be widened from four lanes to six, between exits 303 and 307.

This open house was to get feedback from the public.

Many there live along the interstate and are concerned if their property would be affected.

“We`ve had our home for three generations, my grand-grandparents had that house and to lose that, that`s a lot,” said Marie Blackburne of Stroudsburg.

PennDOT said actual construction work is years away and no property has been selected yet.

That`s why it is asking for input.

“As you look at the different alternatives, one alternative might impact a community or a group of houses more than another alternative does, so it`s not set at this point,” said Heeter.

But people said eventually someone`s property will be picked, it`s just a matter of which ones will have to go.

“Option A so far doesn`t look good for me,” said Pearce Lambert of Stroudsburg, “B, C and D are fine. In the end someone`s going to get hurt, so nobody wants to be that person.”

There will be another open house on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Stroudsburg High School.

PennDOT said the two meetings are the first of several open houses.

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